By Udeme Clement
According to Mr. Ay-obami Odetola, Lube Operations Manager, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, “Nigeria ’s economy loses over N200 billion annually due to influx of adulterated lubricants and the fact that most people patronise road side engine oil dealers.”
He said this while briefing newsmen on the initiative by stakeholders in the downstream sector to begin a nationwide public enlightenment campaign on lubricants market sanitisation.
He said: “The economy also records a huge cost of over $250 million as outflow that is not necessary to import base oil yearly.
Nigeria is the largest importer of used cars and about N100 billion is incurred as unnecessary spending on adulterated lubricants, while over N30 billion goes into treatment of respiratory infections cause by environmental hazards of fake engine oil, while , across the country.
He said, “base oil is not treated and has a lot of water and impurity, which easily cause damages for car engines and environmental pollution through dangerous gas emission into the atmosphere”.
Also speaking, the Gas Manager, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr. Olasupo Agbaje, explained that the campaign became necessary following a ministerial directive to the Agency by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, to coordinate the regulation of base oil and sale of lubricants in the country.
He said, “We are working with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to stamp out the scourge of lubricants adulteration and illegal trading of base oil in Nigeria .
The mechanism to sustain the campaign has been put in place and severe sanctions would be given to offenders in the sector. The campaign is aimed at educating Nigerians on dangers of adulterated base oil being used as lubricants and need to procure lubricants through authourised sources.
The sensitisation programme is anchored by Solutions Communications and is expected to include road shows, talk at mechanic workshops, radio jingles and television advertisement”.
He added, “Procurement, distribution and retailing of base oil and adulteration or improperly packaged lubricants by unlicensed vendors over the years resulted in such hazards like, malfunctioning and damage to engines and machinery, adulteration of edible oil with hazardous health implications, environmental pollution and destruction of the source of livelihood of genuine practitioners in the industry”.